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Extract Berliner Weisse recipe

Discussion in 'Homebrewing' started by ShanePB, Jun 5, 2012.

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  1. ShanePB

    ShanePB Poo-Bah (1,657) Sep 6, 2010 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    Can anyone give a good recipe for a Berliner Weisse? I'm planning on a 5 gallon batch w/ fruit added in the secondary. I've read about methods of quick souring with Wyeast 5335 Lacto but I guess I don't quite understand the full process. Does anyone have a recipe and steps outlined for the process they wouldn't mind sharing?

  2. GatorBeer

    GatorBeer Initiate (137) Feb 2, 2010 South Carolina
    Beer Trader

    I brew them all grain and use a 50/50 mix of pilsner and wheat malts. As to the souring, I sour my wort by throwing in a handful of grainy (which naturally carries lacto on it) after I mash. I then keep it around 110F for 2 days and do a quick boil, then pitch a kolsch yeast.
  3. MrDark

    MrDark Initiate (0) Dec 20, 2005 Massachusetts

    Pretty much what GatorBeer said. roughly 50/50 wheat/pilsner for a total of about 9lbs for a 5gal all grain batch. Mash low (around 145F), runoff and chill. Pitch a handful of dry grain that you hold back from the mash. Let sour for about 36 hours, boil for 15 minutes with a tiny amount of hops at the beginning of boil. Chill and pitch a clean-fermenting yeast. This is one of my absolute favorite styles.

    You could try extract, but you would have to find something very light, as you want this to be a very light, dry beer.
  4. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (3,063) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    “You could try extract, but you would have to find something very light, as you want this to be a very light, dry beer.”

    It has been my experience that Muntons Wheat DME results in a light colored beer. That malt extract is 55% wheat malt and 45% barley malt.

    For an extract brew you should utilize the late extract addition method to achieve the lightest color. Add some of the extract at the beginning of the boil and the rest at the end of the boil (10-15 minutes left in the boil).

    rmalinowski4 likes this.
  5. ShanePB

    ShanePB Poo-Bah (1,657) Sep 6, 2010 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    I guess that's where I'm confused. When doing an extract boil, say for example my recipe is something like:

    3 lb Pilsner LME
    3 lb Wheat LME
    .5 oz Hallertau 4%AA

    The process for this would be do run a boil in 3 gallons with all 6 lbs? (how long are we talking?), cool and pitch the lacto. Let it sit at high temp for 2-3 days while it works. Bring that to a boil to kill the lacto, add hops at beginning and boil for 15 min, then pitch maybe a Wyeast 1338, top off with 2 gallons water.

    You guys doing all-grain are saying add a handful of the grains, what would I do in this situation? Do I need to do anything other than pitching the lacto?
  6. ryanstack

    ryanstack Initiate (0) Jan 27, 2009 Pennsylvania

    You could try using food grade lactic acid post fermentation. This would yield the quickest turnaround. It may not have as complex of a flavor profile as using a lacto culture, but will be much faster. The lacto could take up to 8 months fully finish out.

    Also, wheat extract is typically only about 50% wheat. So you recipe above is actually only 25% wheat.

    I recently made an all grain batch with ~40% wheat. I used acidulated malt to add sourness to the mash but this was not enough. I ended up adding lactic acid (post fermentation) to achieve the sourness level that I was looking for. I also added peach flavor extract. I did a side by side taste test with DFH Festina Peche and actually prefer mine.
  7. ShanePB

    ShanePB Poo-Bah (1,657) Sep 6, 2010 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    Good call on the extract. I could bump that up to 4lb wheat/2lb pilsner, perhaps?

    Also, according to this guy, he let it sour for about 2 days at high temperatures:

    Sounds like it worked, no?
  8. ryanstack

    ryanstack Initiate (0) Jan 27, 2009 Pennsylvania

    I would double check with the manufacture of the extract to confirm how much wheat it contains, then adjust your recipe accordingly.

    That sounds like it would work also. Be sure that you have a way to maintain a temp over 90 degree for a number of days. I personally have no way of achieving this.
  9. ShanePB

    ShanePB Poo-Bah (1,657) Sep 6, 2010 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    Will do. It appears ideally I want to achieve ~50% wheat total?

    Yeah, that's also something I'd need to figure out how to do that.

    Thanks for your help!
  10. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (3,063) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    “It appears ideally I want to achieve ~50% wheat total?” Yes.

    As I posted previously: “It has been my experience that Muntons Wheat DME results in a light colored beer. That malt extract is 55% wheat malt and 45% barley malt.”

    So, just use Muntons Wheat malt extract; either liquid of dry but I would recommend dry since dry malt extracts tend to be lighter in color.

  11. ShanePB

    ShanePB Poo-Bah (1,657) Sep 6, 2010 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    Oh wow I didn't know I could just use Muntons Wheat for everything. Great thanks Jack!
  12. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (3,063) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    You are welcome Shane.

    Please report back on what you finally decide to do from a recipe and process perspective and also let us know how your Berliner Weisse turned out.


  13. JrGtr

    JrGtr Devotee (400) Apr 13, 2006 Massachusetts

    Another way would be to pick up a pack of whole grains (malt) when you get the rest of the supplies, quick boil with the extracts, the toss the grains in amd hold, go from there. I'd think it would ne a bit more natural tasting than a quick hit with lactic acid.
  14. rmalinowski4

    rmalinowski4 Disciple (329) Oct 22, 2010 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    Anybody add Brett at secondary when the fruit is added? If so, what strain are you adding? Going to try this very soon.
  15. GatorBeer

    GatorBeer Initiate (137) Feb 2, 2010 South Carolina
    Beer Trader

    To add to what I said above, I've done two batches of BW. The entire first batch was soured for 4 days (using a handful of grains, a fridge that had a light in it to keep it at 110F) and the end product was VERY sour. In the second attempt, I soured half for 4 days at 110F and blended it with the other half of unsoured wort, pitched a kolsch yeast and it is a perfect sour.
  16. oregone

    oregone Disciple (357) Jul 2, 2008 Oregon

    You can just pitch two large cultures of brettanomyces (or other yeast) and lacto to your normally produced wort. The Brett will help take the FG from using extract down and won't throw too much character as there's limited food in such a small beer. Should be done in 4 days with 2x2L starters pitched at the same time. Will be plenty sour.
    If opting for a Weissen yeast, I'd skip the srter for that as it's more aggressive than the Brett and pitch it alongside the lacto.
  17. jbuddle

    jbuddle Initiate (0) Feb 24, 2010 New York

  18. ShanePB

    ShanePB Poo-Bah (1,657) Sep 6, 2010 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    Thanks for everyone's advice and those who helped me privately. Here's a working recipe and method I'd like to try. From the discussion here can anyone offer any improvements or critiques? Is my method flawed, etc.?

    OG: 1.031
    FG (Target): 1.010
    IBU: 3.7
    Batch size: 5 gallon

    3.8# Muntons Wheat DME
    0.5 oz German Hallertau 4% AA

    1. Heat 3 gallons to 170F, add in DME
    2. Cool to ~100F, pitch Wyeast 5335 Lacto
    3. Try to keep above 90F, taste every 12 hours until sour level desired (assuming 3-4 days).
    4. Bring to a boil (killing lacto), add hops for 15 min
    5. Cool, add to fermenter, add 2 gallons water
    6. Pitch Wyeast 1338 Euro

    Proceed as normal.

  19. ShanePB

    ShanePB Poo-Bah (1,657) Sep 6, 2010 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    Any input on the recipe and process above?
  20. GatorBeer

    GatorBeer Initiate (137) Feb 2, 2010 South Carolina
    Beer Trader

    Looks good to me, best of luck
    ShanePB likes this.
  21. jkanavel

    jkanavel Initiate (0) Aug 2, 2006 Texas

    white labs makes a berlinerweisse strain. pitch in primary.
  22. Mag00n

    Mag00n Aspirant (208) Nov 21, 2008 New York

    Howd this turn out?
  23. poopinmybutt

    poopinmybutt Initiate (84) May 25, 2005 Nebraska


    also wondering how this turned out as i would love to try doing a berliner but do not have the capability of doing AG yet...
  24. rmalinowski4

    rmalinowski4 Disciple (329) Oct 22, 2010 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    I don't understand everyone's aversion to using a sour mash, especially given the issues with using lacto cultures. I have done tham a couple times without any issues. You have control over how sour the beer turns out, It is done rather quickly, and when you boil after souring, you can treat it like a non-sour beer. The key is to keep oxygen away from the wort while doing the sour mash.
    My routine was to heat water to boiling (boiling helps remove oxygen from the water), turn off heat. Mix in DME/LME, cool to 125ish, syphon to a co2 purged bucket, throw in some 2 row, and cover with saran wrap (directly on top or the wort, not just over the top of the bucket). Place bucket in temp controled ferm chamber.
    I can understand how some might get concerned with the possible introduction of oxygen using this method, but I think I have figured out a way to prevent this. After reading the thread http://beeradvocate.com/community/threads/hotpacking-wort-into-a-corny-keg.97001/, I realized you could use a corny keg to conduct a oxygen free sour mash. Just purge the keg with CO2, transfer wort to keg, pitch some 2 row, and seal it up with some CO2 pressure. You could even use a picnic tap to check on the sourness.
    So what does everyone think? Did I miss something, any flaws with this method?
  25. VikeMan

    VikeMan Meyvn (1,344) Jul 12, 2009 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader


    Edit: Also meant to link Chris Kennedy's original post, which I think the blog refers to. Also, I have not done this (either way), just found the ideas interesting.
  26. rmalinowski4

    rmalinowski4 Disciple (329) Oct 22, 2010 Illinois
    Beer Trader

  27. TickleMeTony

    TickleMeTony Initiate (0) Sep 18, 2013 Colorado

    Is it doable to brew a berliner weisse base wort and then just pitch berliner yeast (white labs has some) and perhaps lacto to wort in primary fermenter? Then let it cruise for a 2 weeks in primary, rack into secondary and add fruit?
  28. FATC1TY

    FATC1TY Moderator (1,229) Feb 12, 2012 Georgia
    Subscriber Beer Trader

    The blends you can buy won't work as fast.. So I can't comment on if your 2 week timeline would work.

    Best way to is to culture you own lacto via some uncrushed grain. Let it sour until you are happy with it, and then pitch your sach. strain to finish the fermentation.
  29. TickleMeTony

    TickleMeTony Initiate (0) Sep 18, 2013 Colorado

    That is my plan I believe. Once I achieve the sourness level that I want in my sour mash and then boil and add hops, then rack into primary and pitch berlinerweiss yeast, how long should I let it sit in primary? Just until activity has pretty much ceased? Then I plan on racking into secondary over some fresh raspberries.

    Also, would it be beneficial to pitch another vial of lacto with the berlinnerweisse yeast when putting into primary? Or am I lacto-overboarding it?
    #29 TickleMeTony, May 11, 2014
    Last edited: May 11, 2014
  30. pweis909

    pweis909 Poo-Bah (1,609) Aug 13, 2005 Wisconsin
    Supporter Subscriber

    With an extract beer can he get away with no boil? Isn't the tradition to go from the mash directly to the fermenter, allowing the lacto to do the souring? The extract is probably pretty sanitized to begin with. I guess he might not have any protein break, but that would be traditional too, no? I'd probably heat it anyhow, just to feel like I'm doing something.
  31. FATC1TY

    FATC1TY Moderator (1,229) Feb 12, 2012 Georgia
    Subscriber Beer Trader

    Well, you are using extract, so I'm curious how you plan to sour mash. A bit confused by your post.

    Berliner yeast will have lacto in it. It won't work fast enough to help you, and it's not needed since you'll sour the WORT before you boil it. Unless you are going another route and want to complicate it, then I don't see the confusion.

    I guess you should clarify how you intend to sour your beer, before someone can help you with the end product.
  32. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (3,063) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    Peter, I have no experience with no boil so I personally don't really know. Maybe somebody who has conducted a no boil extract batch can provide feedback in this matter?


  33. pweis909

    pweis909 Poo-Bah (1,609) Aug 13, 2005 Wisconsin
    Supporter Subscriber

    Me neither, but I just thought I'd through it out there. I believe Old Sock has posted about no boil Berliner's in his blog, but he has tried so many different things that I could easily be misremembering. But if I had to decide what was the lesser of two evils, I expect that I would opt for a darker boiled beer than risk an unanticipated infection. Still, I bet the odds are low.
  34. TickleMeTony

    TickleMeTony Initiate (0) Sep 18, 2013 Colorado

    I meant souring the wort, apologies for confusion and lack of detail on my part. I understand that I will not actually be mashing because I am doing extract.
    So once I sour my wort appropriately (to my desired level of sourness) and then bring to boil and add hops then rack into my primary and pitch my berliner weiss yeast, would it be overkill to pitch in another vile of just lacto? Would that even speed things up while fermenting (in terms of further souring), or is that just unnecessary? I'm assuming with a proper sour wort (sour enough for my liking) and the berlinner weiss yeast blend, I should have a decently tart/sour berlinner fairly quickly, but was just wondering if adding more lacto while racking into primary would speed up souring further.
  35. jivex5k

    jivex5k Initiate (0) Apr 13, 2011 Florida

    FWIW I soured my mash for 5 days under a heat lamp and am very pleased with the result.
    Super sour, I boiled the mash to kill the lacto and finished it with WB06 wheat ale yeast. Would have used 05 but they were out of it.

    If you sour the mash I wouldn't worry about adding lacto to the primary. Mine came out oh so sour...like...yeah it's freakin sour man.
  36. FATC1TY

    FATC1TY Moderator (1,229) Feb 12, 2012 Georgia
    Subscriber Beer Trader

    I think you are pretty confused on the timeline of making a berliner here. I'll offer some suggestions to help.

    Lacto likes heat, so keep that in mind ANY time during your process.

    Lacto will also transfer to ALL of your gear, so it's my advice if you want to have active lacto in your beer, to get NEW gear for your non sour/funky beers going forward. UNLESS you sour, boil and then leave it alone.

    You won't get a sour beer in... hours. It seems like you think you can sour it in a day, which, you could get some tartness going, but it won't be a day.More like 2-3 days if you keep it hot, or 5-7 if you keep it around 70*.

    You will need to add your water and extract, boil it until you get a hot break. Once it's boiled for a couple minutes, chill it down to around 110-115 degrees. At this point, if you have the following, use it:

    Uncrushed grain
    Commercial pack of lacto

    Put that in your hot wort once it's around 110 degrees. The grain will be the best, IMO, but if you have a berliner blend, then by all means, use that as it's got lacto in it as well. I like the grain route, but if you don't have any, then use the berliner yeast pack. Do keep in mind, that the yeast will be killed once you add it and the lacto will sour the beer, you'll need another yeast to finish the job.

    Hold the temp around 90* if you can. If you can't, thats perfectly fine. Hold it as warm as you can, someplace for a couple of days. Purge the headspace with Co2 if you can, and if you can't each time you open the fermenter, I'd top it off with a little bottled seltzer water to purge out the oxygen.

    Once you feel it's sour enough, then boil it again for 15 or so minutes, and add your hops to the beer. I'd keep it around 7-10 IBU's at best. Once boiled, treat it like ANY other beer. The lacto is killed. The beer will no longer get any more sour than it is at this point.

    Pitch your sach strain to ferment the beer out. German ale, US05, US04.. whatever you want to use. Allow it to ferment out like any other beer would. Once it's done fermenting, feel free to bottle it, or put some fruit on it. If using fruit, allow it to ferment the sugars of the fruit before you bottle it.

    Point is.. the berliner blend you bought.. it's not going to make your beer more sour after youv'e soured it. The blends all suck really. They will take a while to get sour. Sour it, boil it, and then pitch another yeast that will ferment it out. This keeps your stuff clean, because the lacto will be boiled and killed and then you won't have that crap all over your brewhouse.

    Go read my thread here on berliners, plenty of great advice from people in there.
    lordofthelambics likes this.
  37. TickleMeTony

    TickleMeTony Initiate (0) Sep 18, 2013 Colorado

    This was super duper helpful. I had the right idea, just trouble communicating it through text on the site. The only question I have remaining is when I place in my uncrushed 2-row into the now cooled (110 ish) wort (possibly with some extra lacto), can I keep the wort and uncrushed grains in my kettle that I boiled it in for the few days its souring? Then once it's sour enough for my liking, just place it right back onto my burner and continue with hop boil, cooling of wort and yeast pitching? Or do I need to remove my wort and place it into another vessel other than my pot I made the wort in (fermenter, another pot, etc) and add grains?

    I'm assuming the wort would be fine hanging out in the same pot it was created in while it's getting soured via uncrushed grains. Sorry for so many questions, and thanks for the help, the thread was very helpful too!
  38. FATC1TY

    FATC1TY Moderator (1,229) Feb 12, 2012 Georgia
    Subscriber Beer Trader

    You should be okay to leave it in the pot. No real issue with your pot as it'll boil. I'm not positive if you have an aluminum pot that it would be great to do, but SS, I'd say you'd be fine.

    That said, your issue will be this.. oxygen. I would do a couple things.. Keep it inside, I'd say a garage is best if you have one. Keep it warm will speed it all up, but I've found it's not needed, and will take you around a week roughly at 70+*F.

    I'd put some seran wrap over the top of the wort, like, ON the wort, and dump some seltzer water in the kettle and then cover it. Don't open it up unless you HAVE to, and when you do, repeat the process of a little water, and cover it up. There's the plus of keeping it in a carboy topped up almost to the top if you can. Oxygen will give your beer a vomit and baby shit aroma if you get too much. I can't comment on removing it, as I never had that problem.

    But yeah, if you keep it in the pot and let it get soured up, then strain the grain out, boil it, hop it and treat it like any other beer at that point. Pitch a packet of US05 or something clean and call it done. You won't have lacto all over your brewery, and you won't have to worry about paying for a berliner/lacto culture from someone.

    Good luck!
    TickleMeTony likes this.
  39. TickleMeTony

    TickleMeTony Initiate (0) Sep 18, 2013 Colorado

    Awesome! Currently doing it, only have one last question: Worried about putting plastic wrap on wort and then maintaining heats of 110 degrees or 100 degrees. Wouldn't plastic wrap melt into my sweet, souring wort?

    Or was that just a recommendation to do if I was allowing it to sour at room temp, around 70 degrees?

    I plan on covering with a lid and doing seltzer water when I open it (scarcely), but will do plastic wrap if it won't melt.

    You rock!
  40. Abawol01

    Abawol01 Initiate (0) Dec 17, 2013 Michigan
    Beer Trader

    I have 4 gallons of wort with a pound of uncrushed two row in it in a 90° room right now. Its been about 24 hours and I just took a tiny sample. It's souring nicely. Obviously not there quite yet but another 48 hours and I imagine it will be asshole puckeringly sour.

    I've got foil on top of the actual wort and a cover on the top of the kettle. I am slightly concerned about oxygen still. Its got a tinge of that lovely bile smell. Hopefully that doesn't increase.

    Does anyone know if that will boil off at all like I've heard it will?

    Either way I will keep you guys updated on how this turns out.

    Pretty excited about it.
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